Iron Warriors Army Building – Aspiring Champion, Missile, Squad.

With the completion of the Aspiring Champion and Bearer of the Missile Launcher, I’m calling the first squad of my resurrected Iron Warriors  – started over a decade ago – finally completed. The squad originally only numbered 6 in total, as it was built as part of a force for Combat Patrol games back during a time when CSM could take a Special and a Heavy weapon in sub-10 squads. Unless we were house-ruling that? I can’t remember. They keep changing things like that, so I’m not going to get bent out of shape about the minutia of how many special and heavy weapons they can have. I’ll dump the three Execution Force Iron Warriors in here for now to bring them to nine, and split the Exes off into separate squads when I have all of the current stuff that needs to be finished after a decade done and start on into totally new squads. At that point, I’ll bump these guys to 10 or more as well.

At the suggestion of Dagger & Brush, I’ve began adding some cabling made from clips of guitar wire to some of their bases in an attempt to give them a bit more “pop” and 3-d interest. I haven’t been able to find my copper wire yet, though I may go back and add a few of those when I find them – and add some more guitar wire to additional models at the same time.

My first Iron Warriors Chaos Marine squad, finished and rebased onto Sector Imperialis 32mm bases. I’m now onto working on the second, close combat oriented squad. After I finish those, I can start on some brand new builds.

My Aspiring Champion, showing off a section of guitar wire added to represent power armour cabling as well as a few hazard stripes. When I started these models years ago, I’d intended to heavily chip and weather their armour and weapons as well as add rust and oil stains to their armour, but I quite like how they look now. Not quite clean, but not too grimy, either.

 

Bats and Rats

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Reaper’s Bat Swarms

My rather pathetic entry for the Undead army part of the painting challenge in July was a single “swarm” unit that I’ve only photographed this morning – made up of a trio of Reaper Bones’ Bat Swarms (77046: Bat Swarm). (I can’t believe they want US$2.99 for them!) Since I have four of the models from their various Bones KS campaigns, I decided to paint the fourth at the same time in the same manner. The base coat was a mix of Reaper’s Master HD Colours of Rusty Red and Ruddy Brown. I then washed it with GW’s new Nuln Oil Gloss, to hit the recesses hard while staining the upper as little as possible. Then drybrushed with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally Evil Sunz Scarlet. I’m well aware that these are tabletop quality paintjobs at best and that no-one will care how I did them, but the fact is they’re pretty crap models that don’t really deserve any better, and I’m simply recording how I painted them in case I get another pair of them to make a second swarm one day – purely for gaming purposes. I added the tombstones on the unit base from the Renedra Sprue since the bats were mounted on gravestones anyway in order to tie them in a little with their surroundings, even though I usually dislike “diorama bases” on my own models, as they place the models in too specific a location for figures that will be running around various tabletops.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm by Werner Klocke

Cheetor at Sho3box did a much nicer job on his Bat Swarms a couple of years ago, which I noticed only recently via Google Image Search, what with highlighting their heads and whatnot, but for me, going reddish so they fit broadly within the Undead Army palette was good enough. I also did their bases and unit base so they’d fit in with the Graveyard themed scenery that I’ve started putting together (very) slowly.

 

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

Anyone actually excited by these? I thought not.

The Rats follow almost the exact same ethos and purpose – though the models manage to be much less impressive. This time the models are provided by Reaper’s Rat Swarms (77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2)). You get a pair of them this time for your $2.49, though again I’d possibly be willing to argue their value, even for that price. Anyway, once again I had four of the sculpt, and again I mounted them on 30mm round bases from Impact Miniatures, which I’d originally bought to rebase Space Marines but have been using to base various swarm-sized vermin from Reaper Bones so far.  Paint was… various browns outside of my usual basing colours, including Model Air Khaki Brown at some point, again with the Nuln Oil Gloss, and then AP Tanned Flesh for their widdle teeny-tiny tails and feets. One day the rats will no doubt be shifted over to my Skaven Army, but I’ll need to actually have a few units of Skaven painted before that becomes a worry. I figure vermin like Rats fit in well enough with Bats and Bugs (Sol B shoutout!) to go with the Undead in the meantime. As I finished the the Rat Swarm base in early August, it will also be my weaksauce minimum mandatory Undead submission for this month’s paint challenge if I don’t manage to get something more impressive done.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2) Sandra Garrity

And yes, I’m aware that these Bones models started as metal sculpts in greater detail (and multipart for the bats) and the Bones stuff is cheap & cheerful stuff for gamers of various stripes. That’s why I painted them, though it doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that they’re both a bit rubbish, even if they end up looking passable on the tabletop.

 

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Including the fourth, warped Bat Swarm (and yes, I did the hot water, and yes, it bent back anyway).

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

These have a secondary, theoretical use for me in RPGs. And the Skaven army.

Swarms for Kings of War – models by Reaper Bones.

I decided to take an all-together shot of all my completed little Reaper Swarms. With the unit bases, they’ll do the job on the tabletop. I noticed after taking the photos that I forgot to add tufts to these new ones, so I might have to go back and do that so I can consider them finished. I know I’ve gone on and on about how crappy they are, but I’m just a bit OCD about certain things…

 

The Winter Doldrums.

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately. Well, this time the issue hasn’t been work, but midwinter. Not the winter painting doldrums, either – but a terribad cold that just won’t go away and drains much of my energy. I’ve still been well enough to go to work, and even do some painting and modelling and even forum-ing, but I’ve just not really had the energy for blogging properly. Not wanting to go out to take photos of my models in the (freezing bloody cold) war room. models needing to take a week before I can spray varnish them because it’s too cold (and dark) once I get home from work. I’ve been dividing my recreation time between mostly-simple hobby tasks and simple models and simple painting, and even then I’ve had to force myself. The other place I’ve been spending my time is on the PS4 – playing The Division and Mad Max, which I’ve picked up again after losing interest and putting it down a year ago.

I’ve got another unit of Celtos Skeletons almost done. Literally just a couple of hours of work left on them – mostly on the command, and – oh yeah – I have to figure out a bloody banner for them since the model is an old-school banner bearer with a bare crossbar. So a couple of hours, plus figuring out how to do the banner. (I should go old-school and cut up a cloth banner, like I used to in my Oldhammer days!) Since I’m running out of 4th Edition Goblin shields with the cool embossed skulls and crossbones on them, and I want to keep my few Marauder Undead shields for really special models, I was going to go the freehand route again. Then while rooting around amongst my transfers looking for sheets to use on the Minotaurs and Iron Warriors, I found three old Undead decal sheets, dated 1996 and untouched.

I think I had planned to use several of these on Space Marines, as new/different chapter badges. Certainly the red-hooded skulls look like they’d work perfectly as an Unforgiven chapter, and the winged skulls as a Night Lords subfaction. The Flaming skulls make me think of Word Bearers for some reason (I know, they use the tome). Maybe a “Ghost Riders” chapter? 😉

It’s funny though. I’ve actually gone back and forth on whether I should use them or not. I mean, I can obviously freehand a bunch of skulls and bones that will look pretty good, but it would also add a nice touch of older-school to use some of these old decals. But can I bring myself to defile these one-off, 20-year-old sheets?